Casino Expansion

What is happening?

Gateway proposalThe new operator of the slots at Western Fair, Gateway Casinos and Entertainment Ltd, a BC-based company, announced plans for a $200 million expansion in May 2017. In December 2017, the Gateway presented a plan for a $140 million hotel and casino expansion on the site of the existing gaming operation at Western Fair to strategic priorities and policy committee. The expanded casino would include restaurants, a 125-room hotel, a reduced grandstand and table gaming.

The city leases land to the Western Fair through a ground lease and has a joint interest in many of the buildings on the Western Fair site. Gateway leases space from the Western Fair. You can learn more by reading this staff report. and watching the Gateway's presentation to committee (back in Dec 2017).

I will be posting more information on this page as it becomes available. Please post your questions in the feedback box below (post "keep me updated") to be adding to the list for notifications when more info becomes available.

What's next?

A staff report on public engagement re: the casino expansion is coming to Strategic Priorities and Policy Committee on 29 Jan 2018. The report recommends holding an open house in Ward 4 for residents to learn more about the proposal. It also recommends a public participation meeting at City Hall, which was a direction from council back in 2012 when the idea of a casino expansion was discussed.

News Coverage

Key Documents

What questions do you have about this proposed expansion?

Showing 25 reactions

  • commented 2018-02-07 16:04:45 -0500
    Research on gaming has generally shown it to be net-neutral rather than an economic stimulus, as the majority of revenues come from problematic gamblers, and thus there are significant downstream consequences. As there any reason to believe that this project is different, or with the $140M expansion also equate to a $140M negative social impact, primarily on those living in poverty?
  • posted about this on Facebook 2018-02-07 15:32:53 -0500
    Gateway has proposed a $140 million casino expansion at the Western Fair. What do you think? #oevldn #ldnont
  • @WalterRogers1 tweeted link to this page. 2018-02-07 15:32:46 -0500
    Gateway has proposed a $140 million casino expansion at the Western Fair. What do you think? #oevldn #ldnont
  • commented 2018-02-07 15:32:21 -0500
    The impact this development would have on the Annual Western Fair?
  • @jesse_helmer tweeted this page. 2018-02-07 15:27:30 -0500
    Gateway has proposed a $140 million casino expansion at the Western Fair. What do you think? #oevldn #ldnont
  • commented 2018-01-29 13:08:34 -0500
  • posted about this on Facebook 2018-01-29 11:35:52 -0500
    Gateway has proposed a $140 million casino expansion at the Western Fair. What do you think? #oevldn #ldnont
  • commented 2018-01-29 11:35:33 -0500
    What will this do to the racing at Western Fair? A reduced grandstand means fewer in the seats, fewer spectators and fewer bets. Will this hurt the breeding and racing interests around London?

    What does this do tot the Western Fair? The casino and related components will reduce the amount of land available for the Fair.
  • commented 2018-01-29 10:58:19 -0500
    Gateway has stated that they have an alternate site already in the works if they are unable to work a deal with the City/Western Fair District. Should this happen, other than the obvious loss of annual rent for the Western Fair District site, would this result in any change to the proceeds that the city receives on an annual basis?

    A related question is relating to the structure of the income sharing deal. Is the deal structured so that the city gets a cut of all slots revenue, all gaming revenue, or all site revenue (which would include the hotel?). When the deal was first brokered it was a slots-based casino. Does the deal account for the inclusion of table games as well? (I would hope it does already but sometimes the small things slip through the cracks). If the location is changed, is it required that a new deal be brokered?

    An open house and PPM are great ideas. While this is (currently) a Ward 4 location, it’s a city-wide issue. Gambling addiction affects people from all areas of the city.
  • commented 2018-01-29 10:34:10 -0500
    Gambling can be addictive and doesn’t promote good family relationships. Since Windsor has had their Casino, the number of personal bankruptcies in that city has escalated
  • @jesse_helmer tweeted this page. 2018-01-29 10:24:50 -0500
    Gateway has proposed a $140 million casino expansion at the Western Fair. What do you think? #oevldn #ldnont
  • commented 2017-06-14 12:55:28 -0400
    Not enough info to judge . Where will they build it and park everyone the scope of what they are talking about won’t be able to be built on the actual fair grounds and another company is talking about building 2 more apt buildings across from the alonial hall . How will this change our neighborhood what houses .building will come down to accommodate this
  • commented 2017-05-19 17:14:38 -0400
    I do not live in your community but I do believe residents should be aware of some facts. The Ontario Liberals and the OLG are pushing to outsource all casino operations across Ontario to various private investors. The problem is, this isn’t actual privatization of the OLG, its much worse than that scenario, it’s fake privatization. A government monopoly (OLG) is giving a geographic monopoly to a private company to run various OLG casinos for the province for a 20 year contract.

    As a direct result of the OLGs Modernization Plan, in total over 8,000 OLG employees across the province will lose or have already lost their jobs, with the OLG, as well all employees pension language was removed in their collective agreements. The OLG top brass believe in outsourcing jobs for the little guy but not for themselves. Ironically, all the fat cats at the OLG head office, that is the ones on the sunshine list that make over $100,000 each in salary, will keep their government jobs, while front line workers making less than $40,000 lose their pensions.

    The Liberals and the OLG are only looking at a short term gain of outside money is currently being pumped into various OLG facilities through awarding 20 year contracts, the OLG/Ontario government will get an influx of revenue, something that will help Wynne balance the books but will damage the future Ontario government revenue stream. The big losers in this gamble are the Ontario taxpayers. The reason being, future revenue from casino operations in Niagara will go to private operators pockets rather than all money going than back to the government coffers. As everyone is aware all OLG deals are made behind closed doors, the public doesn’t know what percentage of future profits is going to the investors and the potential for conflict of interest is huge.
    The question you should be asking who is going to profit from this? Who are the political insiders that will benefit? Certainly not the Ontario taxpayer, certainly not the municipality as current Casino employees are worried one of the sites will shut down as they will both be operated by the same private company.
  • commented 2017-05-17 18:40:04 -0400
    Only question i have is when do we get started? Great for london. Keep all that money in london as people will not be traveling to windsor or niagara falls or brantford
  • commented 2017-05-17 18:37:43 -0400
    As a senior, going to the slots is a social event and win lose or draw, I have fun. I track my results so that my “hobby” does not have a negative impact on my budget, and I particularly enjoy morning outings when the crowds are smaller and the people familiar. As a single person, dining out, movies and other couples’ activities do not appeal to me. An enlarged venue would eliminate my out-of-town trips to play at the bigger casinos.
  • commented 2017-05-17 12:29:15 -0400
    The slots at the Western Fair are already busy, however they draw an older demographic to the area. Younger people looking for fun and entertainment do not select that area of the city as a destination.

    With the creation of a full casino and resort style venue, the East End could see an economic boom by attracting a younger crowd with money to spend. If this is done correctly, by incorporating high end restaurants, entertainment, and places to stay, this could attract people from out of town as well. Great for the area, and the city.
  • commented 2017-05-17 10:03:22 -0400
    London needs this for jobs and it will bring in people this is an entertainment area People will Only go elseware we need it here
  • commented 2017-05-16 23:36:14 -0400
    A full casino, hotel and venues would certainly boost the economy and…jobs! I am all for more going to addiction counselling not only for the counselling where needed, but again…jobs! My guess is people addicted to gambling are finding places to gamble, with or without a casino.

    Personally I’d likely see shows and would partake in a poker tournament now and then.
  • commented 2017-05-16 22:19:23 -0400
    Do people not realize, there already is a casino in London?!? The only question is to renovate and make it bigger. I say yes, London needs something that will provide jobs for people that are above minimum wage, have benefits, full time positions etc.

    Everyone is so quick to judge that it’s bad, and it brings addictions. Have we closed down liquor stores? No, we’ve expanded them into our grocery stores…. In my mind London would be stupid not to allow the Casino to expand. People are already travelling to other cities and spending their money elsewhere since London doesn’t have table games. This could be something really great for London. You can’t say we don’t need extra jobs.

    My vote: YES x 3
  • commented 2017-05-16 21:51:55 -0400
    Against this. That parking lot is full all hours of the day. People aren’t going there at 10am to have a night out. They are going because they are addicted. This is a government sponsored plague on our society which should be lessened and not broadened.
  • commented 2017-05-15 07:53:54 -0400
    Seems to have worked out well in Brantford. It’s been a good job development opportunity and they’re decent jobs, not just your run of the mill minimum wage retail/grocery store type thing. It also brings in people from out of town. Yes there are drawbacks, folks who gamble with money they shouldn’t be gambling , but I dont think it’s a good idea to prevent what could be a good thing for the City just for the sake of helping people who can’t help themselves.
  • commented 2017-05-15 07:48:07 -0400
    I do not feel Casinos have a positive contribution to society. Gambling can be an addiction, and you can just see the number of personal bankruptcies that have occurred in the city of Windsor since they have had their Casino. It is well documented. I know because I am from Windsor. If the Casino does go ahead, which it probably will, I would like to see much of the revenue go towards addiction services for gamblers who have addictions. I would also like to see some of the revenue go towards improving the neighbourhood directly around the Casino.
  • commented 2017-05-10 12:09:21 -0400

    I’d prefer that there was not a casino in the neighbourhood, I don’t think they provide a lot of positive value to society. I don’t think we have a lot of choice in this matter though.

    A couple of questions,

    1) How much money does the city get each year from the OLG as part of the revenue sharing?

    2) Assuming this will lead to an increase in that revenue, is it possible to see a portion specifically devoted to gambling addiction support and a portion specifically devoted to improvements in OEV and the other surrounding neighbourhoods?
  • commented 2017-05-10 11:11:05 -0400
    I would like to know the breakdown of revenue sharing for all parties.

    Also, what is the oversight mechanism to ensure the 20 year relationship between OLG and Gateway adheres to high ethical standards, public scrutiny, transparency and accountability? We have seen some very disappointing actions from OLG in the past.
  • commented 2017-05-10 10:04:26 -0400
    Support. There are a ton of people who are traveling elsewhere to find real table games. Having them stay in town will allow the money to go to our city’s coffers.